Gardening Forum

Post your gardening questions and answers here! All are welcome to respond and provide guidance. Here are a few to get us started… 

Where can I get reliable information on my gardening questions?
The Rutgers Agricultural Experiment Station website is an excellent source of information on a myriad of issues. Visit their website at 

What if I want to talk to a live person?
You can get reliable answers to your questions from the Master Gardeners of Essex County. Master Gardeners are volunteers who have been specially trained by staff of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. The Master Gardeners of Essex County maintain a telephone hotline weekdays from 10 am – 2 pm to answer your gardening and plant care questions. The hotline number is 973-228-2210. They will even examine specimens to assist in diagnosis of problems. Visit their website at 

How do I know if my home garden soil has the right combination of nutrients?
Soil needs to be tested to determine the nutrient composition. Some plants, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries, and hollies, prefer low pH (acidic) soil. Others, such as cabbage, lilacs, boxwood, clematis, and lavender, prefer alkaline, or high pH soil. Some thrive in nutrient rich soil, others in nutrient poor soil. Different parts of the same garden may have different soil qualities.  You can order a soil testing kit from the Master Gardeners of Essex County by calling 973-228-2210. Soil specimens are sent to the Rutgers Soil Testing Lab for analysis. For instructions on how to take soil samples or for more information, visit

Why are the leaves on my tomato plants turning yellow?
Yellow leaves on the lower stems of mature plants are not necessarily cause for concern and may simply be caused by lack of sunlight and nutrients reaching the lower leaves. Other causes of yellow leaves may be inadequate watering or improper watering, too little nitrogen in the soil, or a fungal infection. Read more about diagnoses and treatments at or

About Bonnie

Working in higher education. Support environmental, social, and cultural initiatives and causes.
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